Vietnam ranked fourth at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship after losing 2-3 to Japan in the third-place playoff in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.
Japan faced a tough challenge from Vietnam throughout the match.
The Vietnamese players gave the back-to-back champions a score chase in the opening set before claiming a surprising 25-21 win.
Japan bounced back to show its dominance and take a commanding 25-14 win in the second set.
In the third set, though Vietnam initially maintained a 4-4 and 6-6 tie, Japan seized control at 10-7 and eventually made a comeback to secure a 25-22 victory.
In the fourth set, Vietnam managed to turn things around in one of the most emotionally charged moments of the match.
Starting with a 4-8 deficit, the Vietnamese side rallied to score five consecutive points, taking a 9-8 lead and eventually securing the set with a score of 25-20.
This dramatic 2-2 equalizer forced the match into a decisive fifth set.
|Vietnamese players compete during their third-place playoff against Japan at the 2023 Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Thailand, September 6, 2023. Photo: SSM|
Vietnam entered the fifth set with confidence, yet Japan promptly took an 8-5 lead.
The Vietnamese players, however, showed resilience, making a determined effort to narrow the score to 10-12.
But during the critical moments, Japan remained composed and clinched victory with a score of 15-11.
As a result of this defeat, Vietnam placed fourth in the overall rankings, their best-ever finish at the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship.
Vietnam’s previous most notable achievement was a fifth-place finish in both 2015 and 2017.
Host Thailand claimed their third Asian title with a remarkable unbeaten record after winning the five-set thriller against China in the final match on the same day.
The top three teams -- Thailand, China, and Japan -- earned a spot in the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.